What Is Interior Design? Understanding the Basics of Interior Design


Many people have an interest in interior design, but not everybody knows exactly what it entails. Interestingly, it involves much more than choosing the right colors or furniture.

So, what is interior design? we’ve put together a guide that has all the info you need to know.

The Room Should Have Rhythm

In order to generate interest in certain segments of the room, you’ll need to focus on an attribute known as ‘rhythm.’ Much like in music, rhythm in interior design centralizes on creating patterns and then repeating them.

For example, you can achieve this by reusing a certain shape or color throughout the room. But, this should only be done in certain intervals so that it can visually be recognized as a pattern and not randomized placement.

For beginners, the best way to begin using rhythm is through color. You could use a cherry red in your living room couch pillows while also having this color present in a rug. By adding a few more elements with the same color, you’ll be able to establish a visually-pleasing amount of rhythm in your house interior design.

Overall Balance

Those who are familiar with art understand the concept of balance. If even a single element overpowers others, it can visually throw off the entire picture.

The same can be said about interior design. Every object in a room has something known as visual weight. This refers to how eye-catching it is when someone enters the space.

If you have an object that is overly captivating (such as a bizarre painting), the rest of the room could end up being ignored. In general, there are three different types of balance you can incorporate:

  • Radial balance – Elements are placed around a visual focal point.
  • Informal balance – Elements are placed asymmetrically in terms of visual weight.
  • Formal balance – Visual elements of a room are allocated asymmetrically.

The type of balance you incorporate is typically left up to personal taste. But, some types are more sufficient in certain scenarios. For example, a dining hall often utilizes a radial balance or a formal balance.


Harmony is generally used within interior design to create an atmosphere of visual ‘rest.’ This can help a room feel warm and comforting when it would otherwise feel busy or overly exciting.

The easiest way to incorporate harmony is through the use of one or two colors throughout the entire room. For example, you could use white and teal to establish harmony in a bedroom even though the room’s visual elements are different in terms of size, texture, and shape.

Of course, you want to ensure that there is a bit of variation if you choose to limit yourself on the number of colors you incorporate. Otherwise, the room could feel very visually ‘sterile,’ which may not be the appearance that you’re going for.

Scale & Proportion

The ratio between one segment of the room and another in terms of size is known as proportion. Scale refers to how one object’s size relates to the size of another. It can also refer to how the size of an object relates to the space in which it is placed.

While there are many different ways to modify scale and proportion to your liking, the ancient Greeks developed a way to achieve the ideal value in both: the Golden ratio.

This ratio is present within nature and is universally thought to be the ideal way to incorporate scale and proportion within interior design. In fact, it’s also used by photographers, artists, architects, etc.

To elaborate, this principle declares that a room should be split into two segments. The ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as the ratio of the larger section to the entire area.

When implemented correctly, you can drastically increase the aesthetic appeal of a room. It’s okay if you aren’t able to achieve this exact ratio, however. The closer you are to it, the more visually pleasing your room will be.

Keeping this in mind can help you stay grounded when coming up with interior design ideas.


If all of the visual elements of the room are equal, nothing will stand out. This can easily lead to a room becoming aesthetically boring.

Amateur interior designers often make this mistake in order to choose a safe approach. The truth is, though, that you will need to make things stand out in order for the room to feel cohesive.

Fortunately, adding emphasis is relatively straightforward. For example, you could arrange furniture in such a way that it draws attention to the focal point of the room. Or, you can use this furniture arrangement as the focal point itself.

You aren’t limited to using furniture in this way, though. Any large piece that is sufficiently eye-catching would work. The same can be said for larger pieces that people will interact with, such as a piano.

You can check out this resource for inspiration regarding what elements you should add to a room: https://www.interior-deluxe.com/collections/danese-milano

Answering ‘What Is Interior Design’ Might Seem Complicated

The above information, though, will help ensure that you understand everything you need to know. From here, you’ll be able to fully answer ’what is interior design’ and make the decisions that are best for you and your space.

Want to learn more info you should keep in mind? Be sure to explore what the rest of our blog has to offer.

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